Friday, June 26, 2009

Fake Sugar = Poison

The diet craze has been upon us for decades now. One of the most ubiquitous signs of dieting has been no calorie sugar. We use it in our coffee, tea, and to sweeten cereals. More recently we have been able to bake with it as a substitute for refined sugar and even more plentiful are all the diet sodas out there that contain it. We know these sugars as Sweet n' Low, Equal and Splenda but their real names are aspertame, saccharine and sucralose. They have all been proven to cause cancer in high doses but why should we care? Well, over a lifetime, how much of these poisons do you think a regular user would consume? I am sure in combination with all the other synthetic chemicals we ingest, it would be enough to cause cancer or some other kind of disease. There is a reason why they say not to have these "fake" sugars while pregnant. So why would you want to consume them when you aren't? The scariest part of this is that these "fake" sugars are made by big pharma and are positioned as a healthy alternative to sugar (especially for diabetics) in the case of Splenda. Big Pharma has a huge lobby in Washington and a choke hold on the FDA. If they don't want a natural sugar substitute to make it on the shelves of our stores, it won't. They don't want the competition from a healthy option. I have had first hand experience with this. After I read The Hundred Year Lie, I was introduced to Stevia. This is a natural sweetener over 100 times sweeter than refined sugar with no calories. It is extracted from the Stevia plant and is 100% natural. One day while shopping in Whole Foods, I saw the Stevia extract on a tiny shelf way up high. I approached a sales associate so that she could help me reach it and also tell me more about it. She promptly told me that the FDA prohibits her from discussing anything about the product but I should feel free to buy it if I chose to. I was perplexed. Was the FDA really censoring people about the health benefits of Stevia? What has our government come to? Are they really just puppets for big companies that are trying to poison us? Its truly frightening.

Well, as time went on and the big "three" poisons continued to be used in abundant supply by the general public, a new brand emerged on the market. Truvia. This is supposed to be the answer to Stevia. Why stick with the natural form when you can add synthtic chemicals and kill people? All the commercials for Truvia say its "born" from the stevia plant but if you look closely, you will see that its manufactured by Cargill. Cargill is the company that I spoke about in my earlier posts. They own all the corn elevators, the CAFO's and processed corn that goes into our foods and makes us sick. Cargill is not looking out for our best interests. I highly doubt that Truvia is as good and healthy as the actual Stevia extract. I would caution anyone believing this as well.

If you want to avoid the poisons that are ALL OVER the marketplace, just use unrefined sugar. Or more commonly known as raw sugar. This sugar comes right from the cane and has not been stripped of its natural properties. It takes longer to raise your blood sugar (lower glycemic index) and tastes just as good. Yes, it has calories, but dieting shouldn't have to be posionous. Healthy food choices and exercise can help out instead of food substitutes that are just a boat load of synthtic chemicals proven to cause cancer.

My house has officially banned all diet sodas. I never drank them in the first place, but my husband did. We now drink water or organic juice. Raw sugar fills up my canisters and I cook with it and sweeten my coffee with it. It tastes absolutely great. Plus, I feel better knowing I am not killing myself with chemicals that big pharma doesn't mind marketing to the public. To them, its easy profit!!

Another great blog post about Truvia can be found at its worth checking out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Importance of Probiotics

With modern medicine becoming more advanced every day and malpractice insurance going through the roof, doctors are defaulting to C sections ever more frequently. Currently, the national average for C sections is about 25% of all births. As it turns out, the hospital where I delivered my twins has a rate of 30%!! They call this hospital the "baby factory" and I was not aware of this until after I delivered and started asking more questions. If only I knew then what I know now...

I had planned to have my boys vaginally. I did everything to try and get them to both turn head down. I knew that even if one was breech, my OB would not deliver them vaginally. This is sad because a vaginal birth is so much healthier for a baby. However, I do understand the risks of complications especially with twins so I was not going to force the issue. I felt that my OB did not want to put my life or my kids life in harms way. After numerous trips to my chiropracter I was only able to get Jake to move head down. That didn't last long because I wound up on bedrest and he went right back to breech. So at 37 weeks, I had my scheduled C section.

During a vaginal delivery the baby moves through the birth canal and is squeezed in order to stimulate lung function so that it can breathe on its own more naturally. The baby is also exposed to all the good flora "bacteria" that is found in the birth canal. This good bacteria aids in digestion and boosts the immune system. Unfortunately with a C section, the baby is not given any of this good bacteria and thus, goes without. That is why its so important to replace what was never given to the baby in the first place.

A probiotic is the answer. I gave my boys a probiotic from the day they were born. I added it to the breast milk that I pumped. It has also been linked to lessening reflux in some cases. But more importantly, it builds up their immune system by adding all the good bacteria that they never got when they were born. Its been a good thing for us since my boys rarely get sick and when they do, its usually a virus that doesn't need any antibiotics.

Whole Foods or any other healthfood store will sell an infant or toddler probiotic. A half a teaspoon in a bottle of milk or juice per day is all they need but you can add more if you feel your baby needs and immune boost.

Many foods contain a natural probiotic as well. Some of them include, yogurt, kefir and raw milk. Kefir is a great way to get probiotic because they make fruit flavored smoothies out of kefir sold in health food stores. West Wind Farms also sells raw kefir which I buy monthly and make my own smoothies by adding banana and strawberries. My boys love sipping it through a straw! And ofcourse we all drink raw milk.

I don't think enough women that have C sections know about this and unfortunately suffer unneccesarily with babies who are often sick or have reflux. Probiotic is truly important because the digestive system is so closely related to the immune system and if one is not fuctioning properly, the other will suffer as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Products I use

I mentioned back in one of my first couple of posts that I cleaned out my cabinets and freed myself from all mass marketed synthetic chemical laden products. My first step was personal care because I put those products directly on my skin or into my body. I threw out my shampoo and conditioner because they contain Sodum Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a detergent that is so harsh, it is used to clean garage floors. This chemical is absorbed into the liver and over time accumulates in our bodies. It has been linked to cancer in very large quantities. But ask yourself, how many times do you wash your hair and how many other products contain this chemical and in combination with all the other synthetic chemicals in our personal care products what kind of "synergies" are these chemicals creating in your body? SLS is contained in various soaps, toothpastes, shampoos and conditioners. It helps these products foam, giving the user the sense that its working!! I switched to Shi Kai products that do not contain SLS and they have a nice line of shampoos, conditioners and creams. I use the Shi Kai Borage cream on my boys for their dry skin.

I got rid of my soap and switched to a glycerin bar or a natural hand made soap cut directly from a large block. Again, this was done to avoid the SLS. My toothpaste also went in the garbage and I currently use an SLS free, flouride free toothpaste made by Nautre's Gate. It contains essential oils which smell and taste great. I have also used Young Living's Theives toothpaste which I love just as much.

Deoderant/Antiperspirant contains aluminum. This is a heavy metal which is also being linked to neurological damage in humans. By applying antiperspirant directly after shaving the underarm area causes the aluminum to be absorbed more quickly through the broken skin. Every application day after day builds up the amount of aluminum in your body. The funny thing is that the big names in deoderant are coming out with "clinical strength" antiperspriants which contain higher levels of aluminum. I think I saw one with 19% aluminum in it! This is startling to me and not something I would put on my body. I use Naturally Fresh Crystal deoderant which completley does the job. Trust me, I used to use one of those strong brands and Naturally Fresh really holds up just as well. I also feel better knowing that those heavy metals are not being absorbed into my body anymore.

For my boys, I use California Baby products for the bath and a body cream for moisturizing. This is in conjunction with the Shi Kai Borage cream.

For Household Care, I started using Method Products. They are free from toxic chemicals and also good to the environment. I use their dish liquid, stainless steel cleaner, and counter wipes and spray. I love their Basil scent. Mrs. Meyers is another good brand for household cleaning products. I use Treewax for wood floor cleaning and 7th Generation for laundry detergent, especially since my boys were becoming irritated from the other mainstream brand I was using. I think the fragrances were too harsh on their skin. I stopped the exterminator from spraying the inside of the house because I had no idea what chemicals were in his pesticide. The names were too large to pronounce and I felt it was safer to just have him spray outside since my boys are all over the house touching everything on the floor.

I also found a great website that lists thousands of common personal care products and ranks them based on safety. If they contain toxic chemicals, the site tells you which ones and how they are linked to disease in the human body or lab animals. The site is and I suggest checking it out. It can be an eye opener, especially for baby products.

Our Trip To The Accupunturist

Our eating issues are still very apparent even though my boys are getting enough to grow. Cole especially is a little out of proportion. He is 25th percentile for height but completely "off the chart" for weight. I hate charts to begin with but it would make more sense if he were "off the chart" for both weight and height. So this suggests to me that he is a little underweight. Mealtimes are still a struggle and at this point I am not sure if its behavioral or truly just a lack of appetite. I decided one day, when eating was getting nightmarish, to take Cole to an accupunturist. I had heard great things from a friend that I have who took her son to one. He is now gaining weight more consistently and absorbing the nutrients in the food he eats food more efficiently. I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try since all my western medicine advice had not helped thus far.

I recevied a recommendation from a Chiropracter friend of mine and made a trip to Decatur, GA. Her name is Kimberlie Biondi and she works out of a small office building on the far side of the town. She was an extremely calm and relaxing presence and felt Cole's disposition almost immediately. Just by touching him and using some "tuning forks" on various pressure points she was able to determine what is going on with him. Her diagnosis is that Cole is not entirely in his body yet. He lacks some body awareness but even more importantly, he is not getting the most out of the foods he eats. His digestion is quick and not all the nutrients are being absorbed for maximum growth. This seemed to make sense to me because there is a stark difference between him and his twin brother. I had brought Jake along for the trip and Kimberlie noticed right away that Jake was way more "in his body" than Cole. Her suggestion was to massage points around his ankle, on the outside of his knees, around his belly button and right on his solar plexus. She suggested I do this whenever I have the opportunity in order to get him grounded and fully into his body. I could also use some essential oils while I am rubbing these pressure points. I have read in my Young Living reference guide that nutmeg can stimulate appetite so I planned to use this oil on Cole.

After about 2 weeks of these pressure point exercises, I started to see more of an apetite in Cole. He would start taking food off his tray by himself and seemed interested in new foods. I was able to introduce gnocchi pasta (he hates pasta), apple sausage and fish sticks. These are all foods that Jake still does not eat. I admit, Cole has had days where he reverts and does not eat these new foods but at least he was open to trying them. As a side effect, Cole's receptive ability increased dramatically during this period. He began to "catch up" to his brother and understand the directions I was giving him. He was pointing more often, waving and clapping frequently. All things that were slow to come to him. I do atribute this in part to the accupunture.

Right now, he isn't feeling well so all bets are off. Whenever my kids are sick, eating is the last thing they want to do. This is very frustrating for me but I have to keep telling myself that it won't last forever. I am currently applying RC on Cole's chest, Raven on Cole's back and Immunopower on the sole's of his feet. I am hoping this will help to break up the congestion in his chest and relieve his cough while keeping his immune system strong. He still gets his cod liver oil every night. I am hoping to avoid a trip to the pediatrician!